“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Recently, I have been actively participated in charities and voluntaries events in a way to contribute back to the society. I provided aromatherapy and massage treatment for the elderly and I found that the touch and massage is the wonderful methods to convey my love and care to them.
I believe that you love your parents as well. Therefore, in conjunction with both parents day, you can learn and treat them with a simple aromatherapy massage to them.
Following is some of the concerned you need to be aware of:
Elderly are recommended for half of the concentration of essential oil, 1% to 2% blend are suggested to be used. For the calculation formula, kindly refer to 7 Best Methods to Use Essential Oils.
This is because…
Older people’s body system begun to slow down…
It is more slowly for them to metabolize the substances, especially if taking long term medication
Older people’s skin tends to be thin, dry, more fragile and very absorptive…
The changes of their immune response can cause an increased liability to allergic reactions.
Older people’s homeostatic system becomes less effective…
So, individuals are less able to compensate for adverse effects.
Common Disorders for Elderly
According to Buckle (2003) and Battaglia(2002), the most common issues faced by elderly are:
It is estimated around 24.3 million people have dementia worldwide and around 4.6 million new cases each year. This number is expected to increase double every 20 years. But currently, there is no cure yet.
There are a lot of studies regarding dementia and aromatherapy, although aromatherapy is not the cure for dementia, but study showed that it can help to improve the conditions.
Most of the studies focused on lavender and Melissa essential oils, and how the oil triggers their emotional and memory response. But, I will only discuss further regarding this topic in another article later.
Aromatherapy treatment is very effective in treating insomnia. Often, lavender is one of the most popular essential oil to treat insomnia. Besides, essential oils that have sedative or relaxing properties help for insomnia condition.
I found that the essential oils below treat insomnia condition very well:
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) contraindication: low blood pressure
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
I like to blend the above essential oils with citrus oils especially bergamot, mandarin, sweet orange… it has anti-depression properties. Besides, neroli, ylang-ylang, sandalwood… are another good choices to help them to relax.
It is recommended for mild constipation, but it also required diet adjustment, eating habit changes and exercise to improve the conditions.
To use aromatherapy, you can massage your abdomen gently and start from the ascending colon, along the transverse colon, and down the descending colon.
Essential oils recommended:
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), caution for high blood pressure
Black pepper (Pepper nigrum)
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Mandarin (Citrus nobilis)
4. Skin Ulcers and Poor Healing
As I mentioned above, elderly people’s skin becomes thinner and more fragile, their healing ability also slow down…
Essential oil that can enhance aging skin’s ability to heal are:
Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)
Palmarosa (Combopogon martini)
Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
Helichyrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
Carrot Seed (Daucus carota)
Excellent carrier oil to use around the wound:
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone and is frequently part of the aging process.
Ginger, Black Pepper, Cajeput, Rosemary, Lemongrass has analgesic properties which helps to reduce or stop the feeling of pain. For more details, kindly read more in my previous article How to Treat Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Therefore, you can put the above oils recommended in the warm water for foot bath at night for 10 minutes. And then massaged the oil blend into the painful joint area or use compress methods also helps to reduce the pain.
Battaglia, S. (2002) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (second edition). Brisbane: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy
Buckle, J., (2003), Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice, 2nd Edition, Elsevier Science.
Ritter, J., M., James M Ritter, Lionel D Lewis, Timothy GK Mant and Albert Ferro (2008) Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Hodden Education